I spend considerable amounts of my time scouting local restaurants and could waste hours searching and comparing menus and reading reviews. Sometimes, reviews come in handy and other times the menu looks so enticing that I disregard reviews to follow my palate’s heart.
Trying out new restaurants can be hit or miss but if you call yourself a foodie, you go anyway because you never know where you next great meal will come from. Though the majority of the time I eat at the same restaurants – my neighborhood has so many great restaurants within walking distance and nothing beats walking to a place except for rain – I get excited and hopeful when I hear a new restaurant is opening, especially if they offer the ever essential farm to table concept. Trending or not, local sources are what most food enthusiasts are looking for these days.
Loba is a farm to table restaurant that opened its doors in June of this year in the Mimo District, an up and coming neighborhood with Miami Modern (MiMo) charm and tasty eateries. Loba’s owner, Jessica Sanchez, seems to be very familiar with the restaurant industry as her family owns a small number of Colombian restaurants according to the restaurant’s website.
The restaurant décor is rustic, cozy and crafty. From the bar to the wall to the tables and chairs, Loba is covered in wood. Some of it looks to be reclaimed which is eco friendly and popular these days.
We were graciously greeted by our server, a young UM student that seemed as excited about the food as we were to be there. When seated she offered us each a slice of grilled Zak the Baker bread, a delectable slice from a sourdough loaf of freshly made vegan bread goodness. Zak the Baker has a little (not so little) café in midtown where they serve a limited menu of freshly made to order toasts of different varieties, soups and salads.
Wine is tasty but fresh made to order Limeade is tastier and totally trumps wine. I was thrilled to find out that they make it fresh to order and honor requests, in my case half the amount of sugar. It was delightfully refreshing.
When will local restaurants stop offering coke products?
We started our dinner with a simple Tomato and Avocado Salad and the Citrus Ceviche. While the tomato and avocado salad had a delicate, light and refreshing straightforwardness to it the Ceviche surprised me in a delicious way. A generous portion of large chunks of fully cooked fish submerged in a bowl of Gazpacho-like, tangy tomato base with cilantro and onions. The bowl sits on top of a giant edible fried plantain shell and is served with a small side of guacamole that was just meh. Honestly, you don’t need the guacamole. This dish is amazing without it. It was by far my favorite.
I love the fact veggie dishes have their own section in the menu though the time I visited they were out of the Veggie Tales, the only plant plate, by 7:30 pm on a weeknight. That was a bummer so we ordered the Orwell’s Dystopia, a simple dish made with faro (an ancient grain), zucchini, and a little radish. The dish is topped with an egg, which we skipped and the faro is tossed with butter, which we were not too happy about but ordered anyway since it was our only veggie option for a main course. It’s a tasty, hearty and intriguing dish of many flavors and textures.
Even though our daily food choices are mainly made of plants, we don’t really have big reservations about ordering [wild] fish when veggie foods aren’t available so we ordered the Savory Sal and two side dishes, the Seared Okra and the Summer Corn without cheese although the okra came with cheese, I think our server forgot. The Savory Sal, a pan seared salmon topped with fennel and arugula had just the right amount of seasoning and pan seared to perfection. Too bad it was farm raised salmon – the color of the flesh gave it away. Wild salmon tends to have a very rich and deep pink color whereas the fish you see in the picture did not. I hope I’m wrong about this assumption. We should have checked before ordering.
Overall, we very much enjoyed our experience at Loba. The service was great, the portions were substantial, and everything is made fresh and with as many local items as possible. We can’t be too picky about vegetarian dishes because let’s be honest, most foodies love their meat though I secretly wish restaurants had more lip-smacking plant based options that would turn any meat eater into a veggie believer.
Go visit them at:
7420 Biscayne Blvd